2012-13 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 73, Kalamazoo 65
Bluffton gets back in win column with 73-65 victory over Kalamazoo
December 5, 2012
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team used a strong run late in the first half en route to a 73-65 victory over the Kalamazoo College Hornets on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. It snapped a two-game losing streak as Bluffton improved to 2-4. The Beavers were led by Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) who scored 18 points to go along with eight rebounds. Freshman phenom Thayne Recker (Arlington) also chipped in with his first career double-double performance of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) added 12 points while junior Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) contributed 11 points in the victory.
The visiting Hornets jumped on top with a fast start, taking a lead that was as high as 11-6 at the 15:40 mark of the first half. The Beavers rallied to tie it up at 12 on a layup by Recker with 13:35 to go in the period. After a free throw by Keith Garber, a chip shot from Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) gave the Beavers a 14-13 lead. The Hornets tied it up at 18, but freshman Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) drained a pair of free throws to put the home team back on top with 11:20 on the clock.
The Hornets went on a 6-0 run, making the score 24-20 before Bluffton responded with a 6-0 spurt to take a 26-24 lead. After six straight Kalamazoo counters, Bluffton followed with 10 unanswered points, capped by a Pope jumper and a free throw from Recker which gave the Beavers a 36-30 lead at the 2:39 mark. The Beavers' lead would get as high as seven before Eric Fishman drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Bluffton advantage to 39-35 at halftime.
The Beavers were able to maintain a solid cushion until Kalamazoo used a 4-0 spurt to cut the Bluffton lead to four at 50-46 with 14:22 to go. However, Bluffton was able to push the lead back to 10 with an 8-2 run that was capped by a Fisher layup with 9:53 left. The Hornets were able to cut the Beavers lead down to five with 4:54 to go, but the Beavers kept control of the game with a pair of makes at the line by Kinn. Kalamazoo made one last try when the visitors trimmed the lead to 71-65, but Kinn finished it with an uncontested layup to wrap up the Beavers' 73-65 win.
Kinn led the Beavers with 8-of-12 shooting from the field and two free throws for a team-high 18 points. He also added eight rebounds to cap off his solid game. Recker was a force in the paint, going 7-of-9 from the field with a foul shot for 15 points. He also had a game-high 13 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. Fisher also had a solid all-around game with 12 points and a career-high seven dimes.
The Beavers forged a decisive 49-31 advantage in rebounding the basketball, including 20 offensive boards for the home team. The Beavers also had a big advantage in the paint, outscoring the visitors 48-30 down low. Bluffton shot 28-of-62 (45.2 percent) from the field, but only 3-for-13 (23.1 percent) from distance. The home team converted 14-of-21 (66.7 percent) from the charity stripe. In contrast, the visitors hit just 37.3 percent from the floor, although they did shoot marginally better from beyond the arc (31.6 percent) and from the foul line (68.2 percent).
The Beavers will be back in action on Saturday, Dec 8, 2012, when they battle the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology at 3 p.m. on Copeland Court. The women's game with RHIT will precede the men's game at 1 p.m. The doubleheader with the Engineers is Community Day in the Sommer Center.